Research Article

The Catalan tourism subsystem: applying the methodology of subsystems in the tourism sector

Published in: Research in Hospitality Management
Volume 12, issue 1, 2022 , pages: 53–60
DOI: 10.1080/22243534.2022.2080938
Author(s): Albert Vancells, Spain, Juan Antonio Duro, Spain


The analysis of input-output is one of the methodologies most applied in tourism literature to the study of the impacts of tourism activity. In this article, we apply the input-output (IO) subsystems methodology. This methodology is a useful tool for studying the productive structure of the different sectors of an economy. Using it offers us the chance to renew the IO methodology, often used to calculate the economic impacts of tourism. In that sense, we have used this methodology to check two main things: first, the importance of every subsector in the tourism sector and the links between them and the rest of the economy as input supplier and, second, the existence of a tourism subsystem. When we analyse the relations between the subsectors, we found that strong economic links exist between them. The different subsectors operate as suppliers and in turn use the other subsectors as suppliers to offer their final products. Those give us some indications about the existence of a real subsystem between the tourism subsectors, which can give us more information about the tourism sector, the links between the different tourism subsectors, the evolution during recent years and the changes in the relations between subsectors. We chose Catalonia because tourism is one of the most important economic activities, contributing more than 10% of GDP and with a similar importance in jobs creation: more than 400 000 jobs directly related to tourism. Those data meant 17 million international arrivals during 2015.

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